Prior to 1961, except for special arrangements for the payment of Gas, Electricity, Water, and Rates bills (see below), the Bank had
a very limited facility to enable customers to pay such regular items as subscriptions, insurance premiums, hire-purchase repayments,
etc by giving the Bank a Standing Order.
The original, limited, facility, existed prior to 1938, as indicated by a report of
the Bank’s Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee dated February 21st 1938:
Your Sub-Committee report
that a joint conference took place in London on February 9th, 1938 between representatives of the Post Office, the Trustee Savings
Banks and the Municipal Bank to discuss the disadvantages under which Trustee Savings Banks and the Municipal Bank were operating
this scheme and to consider future policy.
Consideration was given to the schemes in operation at the Post Office, Trustee Savings
Banks and the Municipal Bank and various suggestions were put forward, it being ultimately decided that the following procedure should
be adopted by all concerned, subject to any necessary consents, viz:
(1) The minimum periodical payments to be fixed at 7/6.
Such payments to be made not more frequently than monthly.
(3) A minimum charge of 4d per transaction to be made.
common form of authority to be used.
(5) The revised scheme to be brought into operation on the 1st January 1939.
to the existing scheme adopted by the Bank are the fixation of a minimum periodic payment and a minimum charge of 4d per transaction
to be made. The fixed charge of 8d now applicable to payments of rent and insurance premiums complies with the requirements of the
new scheme, but your Sub-Committee suggest that the charge should be reduced to 4d.
Your Sub-Committee see no objection to the
Bank’s scheme being altered to conform to the above-mentioned requirements and they recommend that the scheme be amended accordingly.
new scheme (then known as Periodic Payments, but later known as Standing Orders) was introduced from January 1st 1939.
of a more extensive system was announced in the Bank's 1961 Annual Report, which stated:
This service has been
extended and the Bank can now be instructed to make regular payments, either monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annually.
Bank Committee's Report to the City Council, dated June 5th 1962, provided the first reported statistics:
The extension of the
Standing Order facilities and the provision of the Credit Transfer service for depositors has been fully justified. During the past
11 months the number of Standing Orders has increased by 2,732 representing 22,420 transactions per annum, and since the Credit Transfer
service was introduced three months ago, 5,278 have been dealt with by the Bank.
The 1960s Standing Order service was based on
a system using Addressograph plates, which was eventually replaced with the computerisation of the Bank’s accounting methods in the
The Bank's 1962 Annual Report contained the following statement:
This new and simple service
for the settlement of bills, accounts, etc., is available at all Offices of the Bank.
The Report to the City Council dated June
11th 1963 stated:
The use by depositors of the Standing Order facilities and the Credit Transfer service continues to increase.
The Standing Orders now number 7,771 and the transactions for the year were 39,268. The number of credit transfers dealt with during
the year was 66,488.
The 1964 Annual Report began the public reporting of statistics to show the amount and number of payments
made by these two methods, by including them in the 'Volume of Business' figures. The rapid growth in these figures over the succeeding
years illustrates the increasing volume of borrowing being undertaken by the Bank's customers by way of hire-purchase finance, and
the increasing demand for money transmission services to make the monthly repayments.
The special Standing Order arrangement for the payment of Gas, Electricity, Water, and Rates bills
(referred to above) was directly
linked to the agreement the Bank had with certain authorities for the payment of Utility Accounts
Where a customer gave the
Bank authority to pay any (or all four) of these bills, the appropriate Utility or Council Department would remit the bills directly
to the Bank for payment, quoting a reference number that enabled the depositor's branch to ascertain the depositor's account number.
The branch would then debit the depositor's account, and include payment with any cash payments taken over the counter on
the same day.
This arrangement actually commenced following the suggestion of a depositor, as the following report (dated July
20th 1942) of the Bank's Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee shows:
Your Sub-Committee have considered a proposal made by
a depositor for Corporation accounts (rates, water, gas and electric supply) to be sent direct to the Bank and paid through accounts
of depositors, in the same way as contributions to the Hospitals Contributory Association and Safe Deposit Rentals are dealt with.
The advantage claimed for the scheme is that these accounts could be dealt with during slack periods and avoid delays in dealing with
normal bank transactions. The General Manager has reported favourably on the proposal and the Departments concerned raise no objection.
would have to give a standing instruction in the matter and would have to maintain sufficient funds in their accounts to meet the
demands, failing which, payment would have to be made by the depositor in the usual manner.
Your Sub-Committee recommend that the proposal
be agreed to and that the General Manager be directed to carry the same into effect, consulting the Town Clerk as to the form of authority
to be given and arranging with the Departments concerned.
This Standing Order system was provided at no charge to the depositor
(the utility provider paid the Bank the normal transaction charge that applied to 'over-the-counter' payments) for 30 years,
a 10-pence charge being introduced in 1972.